August 2018 Newsletter

August 2018 Beyond the Finish Line e-newsletter

A member of the City’s Urban Forestry team waters giant sequoias that will be planted in anticipaWhen the City’s Urban Forestry team learned that the IAAF World Championships Oregon21 would be coming to Eugene, the group started thinking about the impact of the event. The Championships are, arguably, the most significant event to ever come to our region, and possibly the state of Oregon. What type of project could they create that fit within their work team’s vision while contributing to the overall well-being and lasting legacy of the community? Collectively the group decided on 2,021 for 2021— a giant sequoia tree planting that will benefit Eugene for decades to come.

Giant sequoia grow quickly and are resistant to drought, wind, flooding, fire and damage. The species is especially efficient at carbon sequestration, which helps maintain a healthy climate. These iconic trees create abundant habitat for critters and insects while beautifying our natural landscape, fitting perfectly into Parks and Open Space’s overall vision for a diverse urban canopy.

The Urban Forestry team is proud of the 2,021 for 2021 project and excited to see it come to fruition. “The team is proud to be part of something that has a lasting impact,” said Sean O’Brien, park specialist. “Combined with the intrigue around the sequoias themselves, knowing they’ll be here when we are gone, it’s a meaningful way to acknowledge this event and contribute to future generations.” Michelle Parkins, a technical specialist on the team, says the project emphasizes the importance public outreach plays when rallying the community around a common purpose.

Scott Altenhoff, Urban Forestry management analyst, envisions Eugene as a regional leader in green infrastructure, and this project serves to highlight the value of natural processes. “The trees are telling us in a subtle way to go out and get them planted. I feel like we’re at the service of the trees.”

Want to be involved? Here are a few ways you can be a part of this project:

  • Check your yards, neighborhoods, schools, and other spaces to suggest a spot for a sequoia. Submit your ideas through the 2,021 for 2021 website.
  • Adopt-a-tree individually or with your workgroup. Help select a site, plant and then monitor the growth and health.
  • Donate! Over $3,000 in private donations have been made so far, all of which goes into funding this project.

For more information, contact Scott Altenhoff, 541-682-4817.